Born in Mecca to the Impeccable Lady, Hazrat Khadija (peace upon her), within a year after her father’s Me’raj or Ascension to the highest point in the heaven and back to Planet Earth within a matter of few moments and his eating of the blessed apple of paradise during the celestial journey, she was named Fatema, which means her devout followers are immune from the fire of hell. While still a child of less than 8 years, she lost her mother to the cold hands of death as well as her mother’s vast material wealth that was spent for the feeding, clothing, sheltering, and protection of the neo Muslim community that was under persecution of the pagan Arabs. Nonetheless, despite her tender years, she so diligently took care of her persecuted father to the extent that she became known as Omm-e Abiha or Mother of her Own Father. Soon upon migration from Mecca to Medina, her hand was sought by many a wealthy and politically influential neo Muslim Arab, but her father turned down all proposals, saying the commandment should come from God for the marriage of the Prophet’s Daughter. It did when her father’s young and virtuous cousin, the First and Foremost Muslim, Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), became the suitor and received the affirmative reply as the Archangel Gabriel informed the Prophet that the nuptials of these two blessed souls were sealed in heaven by God Almighty Himself. The fruits of this union were two infallible sons and two immaculate daughters who would rise to the defence of Islam whenever the creed of God came under threat from the hypocrites – the former Arab pagans who now masqueraded as Muslims to seize the political power of the Islamic realm. No wonder, the Prophet used to rise to his feet whenever his daughter entered his presence, and seat her in his place, saying he smelled the fragrance of heaven. To confirm her pristine purity and that of her immediately family, God Almighty revealed ayah 33 of Surah Ahzaab when the Prophet once entered her house and assembled under his blessed cloak her sons, Hasan and Husain, her husband, Ali, and herself, while Gabriel descended with the divine words:
“Indeed Allah desires to keep away all uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt and preserve you thoroughly purified.”
Despite her lofty merits, Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her) used to personally do all household chores. After marriage and a very simple dowry given by her father consisting of basic amenities, the couple shared the blessings of a blissful life. The husband was responsible for all outside work while the wife took care of household affairs. They made an excellent husband and wife pair. As the supreme symbol of feminine virtues, she displayed the highest ethical traits in marital life in view of the hadith: A woman’s jihad [striving in the way of Allah] is to behave excellently with her husband.”
She also enjoyed very cordial relations with her mother-in-law Fatema bint Asad, the lady who had brought up her father the Prophet as her own son and to whose care the Prophet had entrusted her on her mother’s death. Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her) never allowed her mother-in-law to trouble herself with household chores and left to her the social relations for keeping the necessary contact with family members and friends. In 7 AH when the Prophet provided her with the virtuous Abyssinian maid, Fizza, she divided the work equally, by giving rest to her maid a whole day after a day’s work and discharging the duties that day herself. These are the qualities that make Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her), the Pride of the Virgin Mary, and the model par-excellence for all virtuous women to mould their life upon. Since it is God Almighty Who sends Prophets and appoints Imams and keeps them immune from faults and shortcomings in order to be perfect guides for the human race, it would have been against the fundamental principle of “Adl” or Divine Justice to leave womankind in the dark and to the whims of men, without designating the most virtuous role model for ladies to mould their life upon. It thus becomes clear that the Greatest Lady of all time, the Prophet’s infallible daughter Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (peace upon her), was the divinely-decreed guide for women of all time by her perfect demonstration of the greatness of Islam and the practical meaning of piety, virtue and feminine rights
The Mohaddessa, as she is also known because of the fact that angels used to speak with her, Hazrat Fatema (peace upon her), barely 75 days after the passing away of the Prophet, was martyred following miscarriage as a result of being pinned between the wall and the door of her house that was flung open in her face, without any respect for her status, by an unruly group of her father’s companions intending to force her husband to swear allegiance to their political rule. The Most Truthful Lady who was unsullied from all worldly impurities, died in defence of the right of the One and Only Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), after delivering a memorable sermon in flawless Arabic on the Fundamentals of Islam, and on the governance of the Islamic society on the basis of the holy Qur’an and the precedents of the Prophet. She warned the self-style caliph and his companions of divine punishment for their unjustified actions. She told them:
"Now hang firmly to this cheap dromedary of caliphate of yours and release it not. But beware; the hump of this camel is injured while there are blisters and holes in its feet. It carries the scars of ignominy and the sign of the wrath of Allah. Eternal shame is attached to it."
In this way, the Prophet’s daughter entrusted to God her complaint against their injustice. She was laid to rest, as per her will, in the dead of night at a secret spot. This sacred place is believed to be either in her own house or in the Jannat al-Baqie’ Cemetery. A third account says her site of eternal repose is between the tomb of the Prophet and his pulpit in what is now Masjid an-Nabi. Alas her tormentors had even disregarded the Prophet’s famous saying: “Fatema is part of me; whoever displeases her has displeased me and whoever displeases me has [in fact] displeased Allah the Glorious).”